You found me (not that I've been hiding) and, yes, I realize this page was built in Blogger, but I'm really not using it as a blog. Occasionally, I'll post a note in the space below, but not too often.

However, I do blog regularly and invite you to check it out. If you're looking for me, I'm probably logged in to Facebook right now. I also tweet a lot.

Twitter is where I make most of my noise...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beware of this common Facebook scam

This morning, I received a chat message from one of my Facebook friends claiming that he and his family were stranded in London after being robbed at gunpoint. The scammer claimed that he needed me to "loan him a few cash" in order to pay for his hotel bill and a cab to the airport so he could get home.

Unfortunately for him, I was already aware of this fairly common ruse. In fact, he wasn't the first FB friend to have his account hacked by this same scam. If I had to guess, I'd say he had a password that was easy to figure out.

When I asked him to verify his identity, he of course only provided information that was readily available in his profile. When I countered by asking how we knew each other, he immediately logged out.

Protect yourself by creating a hard-to-guess password and keeping some information about yourself out of your online profiles. If you are approached by a "friend" in need of help, always verify their identity. 

Be vigilant.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go

OK, I think this is ready to go. Still making minor content & design tweaks, but it's as ready as it's going to get.

Charting Discourse

It's nice to see the editor of our local rag calling out my Congressman ( Can't take the heat? - Columns by John Drescher - News & Observer ) over his refusal to hold town hall meetings during the summer recess.

Yeah, people have been obnoxious. Then again, that's just what we see on the news. It's easy propaganda for the media to grab a YouTube clip of the most ridiculous people at a meeting and present that as "what we're up against". I counter with, for every irrational yahoo whose sound bite makes it to the newsreels, there are hundreds more of us who are fed up with the course that this government has charted, but too civilized to get any attention.

Perhaps if,  instead of hiding, our 'leaders' would host more public meetings, those of us who are capable of presenting a rational and civilized counterargument might actually get heard.

Rep. Miller has always made himself accessible whenever I've asked to meet with him. Of course, I'm not the type of yahoo who makes it onto the most-forwarded list of YouTube clips. But, as Drescher puts it,
"If you can't hold your own with Joe Sixpack from Roxboro, should you be in Congress?"
As obnoxious as some of them are, Miller and his colleagues represent those people, too, and they're every bit as entitled to voice their opinion as I am. Perhaps if the news focused on us instead, the circus might go home and we might be able to finally have a constructive debate.

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All systems go

OK, so...I'm doing this blog thing again, and I think I'll be more committed to it this time. After conversations with Kris Kovacs, it didn't take much for him to convince me that I needed it. After all, I'm an opinionated bastard who likes to write, I'm always connected and I'm already sharing most of my thoughts online anyway.  At the very least, I can more thoroughly flesh out some thoughts that are simply too long to tweet.

I'll officially launch it once I have a bit more content in place. I think it'll be easier to stay on it this time. I'm too plugged in now, and recently downloaded and tested the BlogPress app for my iPhone. That alone gets rid of all excuses.

Why blog? Clearly, I think I have something to say. I'll likely get political. I can't help it; I'm passionate about personal and fiscal responsibility and that drives a lot of what gets me fired up. In the end, I'll write about what's important to me.

I want to use it as an opportunity to share what I know... and more importantly, what I learn along the way. I hope you'll return from time to time to find out what that is.

Hops & Hickory